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Personal Injury Law

Lawyer Cynthia Taylor practices law in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with the firm Key Murray Law.

I was in an accident – what do I do??

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So you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, or injured as a result of a slip and fall, and think you may need to make a personal injury claim for your injuries and losses.

Lawyer Cynthia Taylor practices law in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with the firm Key Murray Law.

What should you do?

Obviously, first you will want to seek appropriate medical attention and contact the police, if necessary.

If you are going to be making a personal injury claim, certain information will be important for your case, and sometimes you can only obtain this information right away. You want to make sure you’ve gathered the appropriate information and evidence.

 

 

 

 

You’ll need:

• Photos of the scene – it’s key that they were taken as close to the time of the incident as possible so the conditions haven’t changed. Photos taken from varying angles and distances can be helpful.
• Photos of damage to any vehicles or other property as well as photos of any injuries you have sustained, such as cuts, bruises, etc.
• If it’s a motor vehicle accident, obtain information, including all contact info for the other driver(s), along with insurance information for the other driver(s); use your cell phone to take pictures of the other driver’s vehicle registration and insurance slip
• Obtain contact information for any witnesses.
Sometimes obtaining this information may not be possible if you have been severely injured. You may want to ask a family member or friend to assist you in this regard.
If you’ve been involved in an accident or an incident where you suffered personal injury or property damage, please contact one of Key Murray Law’s experienced personal injury lawyers for a free initial consultation.

Cynthia A. Taylor
Associate
cynthia.taylor@keymurraylaw.com
902-368-7824

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
Richard Collier is a lawyer with Key Murray Law in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Buckle Up

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Seatbelts from a Personal Injury Perspective

Richard Collier is a lawyer with Key Murray Law in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Failing to wear a seatbelt can result in a number of adverse legal consequences, including:

1) Your being charged under the Highway Traffic Act, for failing to wear a seatbelt; and
2) If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, failing to wear a seatbelt may result in you not being fully compensated for your injuries.

Contributory negligence is a concept in negligence law that sees the injured party bearing some responsibility for the injuries they have suffered. If an injured party is found to be contributorily negligent (partially at fault) a Court will reduce any damage award (monetary compensation) the injured party may be entitled to by a percentage corresponding with the party’s contributory negligence.

A fairly common example of contributory negligence is failing to wear a seatbelt.

If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of a car accident, and it can be shown that your failure to do so caused an injury or increased the severity of an injury, your damages will be reduced.

The standard range for a reduction for contributory negligence as a result of failing to wear a seatbelt is 5-25%. The vast majority of caselaw outside Prince Edward Island shows that 25% is a hard cap and discounting damages more than 25% solely because of failure to wear a seatbelt would be unreasonable. However, in Boertien v. Carter (1995), 135 Nfld. & PEIR 91 (PEISCTD) (WL) Justice Jenkins, as he then was, preferred using the 25% as a guideline, and found that the level of contributory negligence should be ascertained on a case by case basis, which in some cases may be above 25%. The cap question has yet to be definitively answered in Prince Edward Island as in Boertien v. Carter, Justice Jenkins found the plaintiff 20% liable and the cap question was not directly at issue.

Where in the 5-25% range the failure to where a seatbelt falls will depend on the facts of the case, and the degree to which the failure to wear a seatbelt caused or contributed to the injured party’s injuries. Additionally, adding in other contributory negligent actions or omissions, such as driving while impaired, driving while improperly situated within the vehicle, or engaging in other reckless behaviour that may have caused or contributed to the collision or worsening of the injuries sustained, may result in increasing the percentage of contributory negligence.

Whether or not failing to where a seatbelt is an issue in your personal injury matter, please remember all cases are different and the facts of each case will determine the presence and extent of any contributory negligence. If you are injured in a motor vehicle collision or otherwise, one of Key Murray Law’s Personal Injury lawyers will be pleased to offer you a no-charge initial consultation to talk about your case and any compensation you may be entitled to.

Richard A. Collier
Associate
Richard.collier@keymurraylaw.com
902-368-7830

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
Geoffrey Kowalski, Key Murray Law.

WARNING: Hot Beverage – Personal Injury Law

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We have all heard the classic personal injury story: a customer buys a hot beverage at the drive-thru, the customer spills the beverage causing severe burns and sues the company for negligence.

It’s never actually happened though, right?

 

The Provincial Court of British Columbia, in Williams v. Starbucks, 2017 BCPC 0027, recently heard a case quite similar to the one above. The Plaintiff purchased a tea, among other items, from a Starbucks drive-thru, and as she held the tea and drove through the parking lot, the lid “popped off” and spilled into her lap. The Plaintiff suffered second and third degree burns on her left thigh and gluteal area.

The Plaintiff subsequently sued Starbucks, claiming that the cup became distorted by the temperature of the liquid, that the cup or lid was defective, that the lid was not properly placed on the cup by the Starbucks employee and that the temperature of the tea was hotter than it should have been.

As with any negligence claim, the onus is on the Plaintiff to show that the Defendant owed the Plaintiff a duty of care and breached the standard of care. The Defendant stated this, noting that it is not the Defendant’s responsibility to prove how or why the incident occurred, but that it was the Plaintiff’s responsibility to prove that the cup or liquid was defective or unsafe.

After a review of the evidence,

including an inspection of the cup and lid, the Court determined that the Defendant did not breach the standard of care owed to the Plaintiff. The cup had a warning that it contained a hot liquid, was covered by a cardboard sleeve to protect the hand of the customer and the Court noted that there was no evidence that the cup or lid had was or had become defective.
Sometimes accidents are just accidents, like the case above; however, sometimes accidents happen due to the actions or inactions of others. If you’ve been involved in an accident or an incident where you suffered personal injury or damage, please contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers for a consultation.

Geoffrey Kowalski
Articled Clerk
geoff.kowalski@keymurraylaw.com
902-368-7822

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
Lawyer Cynthia Taylor practices law in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with the firm Key Murray Law.

Understanding Your Automobile Insurance Policy

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If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may have questions about your insurance policy.

You need to know what sections apply, what benefits you are entitled to, and so on. Prince Edward Island’s Standard Automobile Policy applies to all automobile insurance policies in PEI.

The Policy contains 4 important sections, which can be broken down as follows:

Section A is third party liability and comes into play when you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and another driver is at fault. The other driver’s insurance company will be the one responding to any claim for personal injuries and losses that you may have experienced.

Section B is no fault accident benefits which (for accidents after October 1, 2014) covers up to $50,000.00 in medical and rehabilitation expenses and up to $250.00 weekly for loss of income (the lesser of $250.00 per week, or 80% of the insured’s gross weekly income), amongst other benefits. Your claim for these benefits would be through your own insurance, or the insurance of the vehicle you were driving at the time of the accident.

Section C is for damage to your vehicle or property as a result of an accident.

Section D is coverage for you if you are injured by an unidentified driver or uninsured driver.

Additionally,

if you purchased Standard Form Endorsement 44 coverage (SEF 44) as part of your insurance policy then you may have coverage if the other motorist is inadequately insured. Take for example a situation where you have suffered catastrophic injuries in an accident. If the other motorist only has $500,000.00 in coverage, but you have your own coverage of $1,000,000.00, then your insurance company (under the SEF 44 endorsement) will cover your losses above the limits of the other motorist’s policy.
If you have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, the lawyers at Key Murray Law practising in the area of Personal Injury Law ( http://keymurraylaw.com/personal-injury/ ) would be happy to discuss your rights and options with you at a no fee initial consultation.

Cynthia A. Taylor
Associate
cynthia.taylor@keymurraylaw.com
902-368-7824

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.